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Is the SIG 556 better than the AR-15?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by marineman, Jun 1, 2008.

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  1. marineman

    marineman Member

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    Is the SIG 556 better than the AR-15? I know relatively nothing about the SIG. I have an AR and love it. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the two rifles? Thanks.
     
  2. CBS220

    CBS220 Member

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    Define "better".
     
  3. marineman

    marineman Member

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    Better: more accurate, more reliable, more durable, more ergonomic, easy to customize, etc. Basically, what are the advantages/disadvantages between the two rifles?
     
  4. CBS220

    CBS220 Member

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    Advantages to the AR- It's much more easily modified. It's much cheaper. It comes in a bazillion configurations. They are proven accurate and reliable.

    Advantages to the SIG- It's cool looking, and we've never been able to get its parent family of rifles stateside in any quantity.

    A good AR will be just as reliable... and the Sig is more expensive for what you get. However, if you get an AR, most people get it with a certain "job" in mind, and sacrifice some qualities- for instance, a varminter will probably not mind a rifle that cannot be lugged through an Iraqi sandstorm reliably, but a person who wants a home defense rifle doesn't really care if it shoots 0.5 MOA or not...
     
  5. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    Oh dear....here we go:uhoh:

    Seriously lets not get into a "this" is better than "that" kind of thread they only end up getting hostile because people have different opinions on what makes one thing better than another.

    The fact is they both shoot the same caliber and can use the same mags but they both feel completely different as well as operate differently. Some people may prefer the AR because of its proven design while others may like the 556 because its something new and different.

    I own and AR and I'm waiting for my 556 to arrive, I wanted both because they are two very different rifles. Also it depends on which AR make you are talking about. There is certainly enough argument circulating out there over who makes the best AR, if you toss the 556 into that argument it only gets more complicated.

    The fact is the AR has some advantages over the 556 and the 556 has some advantages over the AR. Whether those advantages really matter depends on the shooter and the intention of the rifle.

    People also like to throw in cost as factor when in reality there are AR's out there that sell for just as much if not more than a 556. The difference is that with an AR you have the option to buy a less expensive brand and with the Sig you are pretty much stuck with the several models that are out there for a more set cost.

    I think the big advantages of an AR is that its a proven design, reliable and ergonomic. The big advantage of the 556 is well.....its a Sig enough said.
     
  6. dscottw88

    dscottw88 Member

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    My personal opinion? No.
     
  7. rangerruck

    rangerruck Member

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    My opinion says yes, it is better. they also do all the correct, magnetic, bolt, and particle testing, that few peeps stateside are willing to do. Also , they managed to cut the weight of a same size AR by about 1 lb.
     
  8. elmerfudd

    elmerfudd Member

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    I guess it depends on what you want. The Sig is a derivative of the AK, so reliability wise it should have the AR beat. Of course that also means you have the extra weight of the piston up front and although from what I've heard Sig 556's are fairly accurate, the design is probably inherently less accurate than the AR. You have the extra mass of the piston and an AK type bolt carrier in motion and the piston has the potential to interfere with the barrels harmonics. The Sig should run cleaner and be much more tolerant of dirt however. You could also install a folding stock on it. The AR will have far more parts available for it.

    Now, this is all pure guesswork on my part. I currently don't own either an AR or a Sig. I have handled and shot literally dozens of M16's and AR's however and I qualified expert with the M16, so I feel I am pretty familiar with the weapon. I have only handled a Sig556 in a gun shop, so I really only know what I've read about it. I do own several AK's however and based on my experience it is a more rugged and reliable design than the AR.
     
  9. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    It is Swiss, it must be better!

    If I was living in Switzerland I would own one as opposed to the AR15, but I am not living in Switzerland and the higher cost of magazines and spare parts along with spotty availability rules it out in my book.
     
  10. Phil DeGraves

    Phil DeGraves Member

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    The SIG is a much newer design so I would expect it to be "better".
    On the other hand, the AR has been the standard US battle rifle for about 50 years, so it is a PROVEN design and there are parts aplenty for it. Whatever the AR has done it can still do. There is no doubt that the AR is a great gun. How much "better" can the SIG be?
     
  11. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Surprisingly it's not. It's a rehash of the piston upper and similar to what the AK uses. There's not really anything new there.

    That has it's good points though as you say, it's a tested method, but it's not new at all.

    I had a 556 ordered for a good while until I shot one. I canceled my order right after that.
     
  12. IndianaBoy

    IndianaBoy Member

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    The 556 takes AR mags.

    It is made in the US, parts are available from Sig Sauer.
     
  13. Nikon777

    Nikon777 Member

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    Yes "better" is very broad.
     
  14. FlyinBryan

    FlyinBryan Member

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    i was on the 100 yrd range last weekend and the guy right beside me had a sig223.

    his groups were the size of a softball, maybe a little bigger.

    i was shooting a bushmaster 16" rifle. my groups were the size of a quarter, with a few dime sized groups here and there.

    could have been the shooter but he appeared to have decent technique, firing from sandbags with his left hand under the stock in typical benchrest fashion.

    for accuracy its going to be hard if not impossible to beat a good ar with any semiauto.


    EDIT: i havre fired almost 2000 rounds from this ar and its jammed or stopped running exactly zero times. its reliable.
     
  15. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    May I ask why? Was it innacurate? Unreliable? Just curious as I'm thinking about getting one.
     
  16. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    It did not do anything at all for me to justify the price. It was not as ergonomic in my opinion as the AR, it was heavy, and the accessory market just isn't taking off.

    I can't say anything necessarily bad happened when I fired it but all that was going through my mind was "it's an AR that doesn't feel as good and costs more".

    If you can possibly find someone to let you try it I recommend it before plunking down the money.

    Even if you're sold on the piston function you can get into a good piston AR for that price and still have all the AR accessory market. I just couldn't find any way to justify it.
     
  17. Patrick Henry

    Patrick Henry Member

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    Don't forget that the SIG does not use the "direct impingement" system and should therefore be more reliable with less maintenance than the AR. I have not owned either one so take that for what it's worth.
     
  18. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    No it is not better for 95% of shooters.

    The 556 is heavy. The "real Swiss" add ons and upgrades are very expensive. The ones being sold by Sig Sauer in Exter are crap IMHO. Do not confuse the stuff sold by Sig Sauer here with the real swiss stuff.

    It is also very expensive IMHO. You will pay about $1175 for a optic ready rifle. Compare that to a Stag or S&W AR-15 which can be had for $850. That difference alone will pay for a decent Eotech.

    The gas system is great but lets all be honest how many of us really are slogging around in the dirt, mud and sand firing thousands of rounds before cleaning? So in the end it is a on paper difference not a real world advantage.

    The AR platform fits most people. The same cannot be said for the 556.

    In the end it is a great rifle but I just don't see it as a major improvement over the AR platform. To me you are better off buying more ammo and shooting the crap out of the AR you already own versus buying the 556.
     
  19. Nikon777

    Nikon777 Member

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    Bingo.. +1
     
  20. Bartholomew Roberts

    Bartholomew Roberts Moderator Emeritus

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    AR

    I'd call this a wash if comparing quality AR to SIG 556. If comparing SIG556 to the random AR in your local gunshop, then SIG.

    SIG. ARs have never been great on durability but you will need to spend at least $4,000 in ammo at current prices before you notice a problem with either one. On the other hand, the AR can be repaired/refurbished cheaper if it does break.

    AR. SIG is too nose heavy.

    AR... what other rifle allows you to switch out: barrels, handguards, pistol grip, stock, sights, charging handle, even the gas system can be changed.
     
  21. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    As Tex said before you, you can get a piston kit installed on an AR and still have the same cost as the 556.
     
  22. rellascout

    rellascout member

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    I think the more important point is that 95% of shooters do not need a gas pistol system. How many rounds go through the average civilian AR before cleaning.

    When was the last time you shot your AR covered in the mud?
     
  23. Tarvis

    Tarvis Member

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    You are correct.
     
  24. LiquidTension

    LiquidTension Member

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    Those of us with cans often benefit from piston systems due to decreased blowback. I know that my suppressed AR spits quite a bit of gas into my eyes, and you don't want to inhale while shooting either. I have not fired a suppressed 556 yet so I don't know if it's any better.
     
  25. Robert14

    Robert14 Member

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    I do not like the grip angle of the 556 as much as I do the AR. Also, try to hit the mag release on the 556 without removing your hand from the grip - it's a longer reach than the AR.
     
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